It’s Spring!

Pretty Tulips 2010

It’s Spring!!  Here, in Northern Ca. we ‘re experiencing the full tempestuous effects of Springtime.;  blue skies & billowy white clouds with temperatures approaching 70,   giving way to gray-sky windy days with temperatures in the 50′s, punctuated by rain storms-   and back and forth the weather shifts like the moods of a young child. Today with Daylight Savings Time,  I gain an hour of daylight to work in the garden, which is great because there is so much to be done to clean-up after winter & get ready for planting new flowers for summer.

*****Geese Today the sun is out and the temperature is perfect for working in the garden~ 63`. Pascal and I took a  long walk to Heather Farms this morning,  past fields filled with mustard flowers blowing in the light breeze. The air was filled with sounds of geese squawking and as we followed the path around the curve, we came to the spot of commotion. The pond was filled with geese & ducks, as was the small beach. They all seemed to be out this morning, like us, enjoying the beautiful weather.

My plan was to come home after our walk, write a blog post and  get to work embroidering my new dress so that hopefully Pascal & I could go out at the end of the day & work in the garden. A good plan, it sounds easy enough~  And it would be if my eyes weren’t constantly returning to the window, to the sunlight outside, to the flowers blowing in the breeze and the birds collecting twigs to build nests. Suddenly it becomes so difficult to be inside working!!

Reluctantly I avert my eyes from the window reminding myself that with Spring comes Easter, now just a few weeks away, soon to be followed by summer. Then I feel excitement about implementing my new smocking and embroidery ideas for the coming season. Right now my shop is filled with hand smocked dresses that are  hand embroidered  with bunnies, chicks, ducks, lambs and of course lots of flowers,  making them perfect for Spring and Easter . Here are my two most recent additions:Rosebud

I Am A  Lamb

In addition to the smocked & embroidered dresses, I thought it would be a great idea to embroider infant, onepiece bodysuits. I now have two of them in my Etsy shop, website, and 1,000Markets shop. Like the dresses, these are ooak. They are not only perfect for spring, but perfect for Easter as well, with 2 bunnies on one,  and a little yellow chick on the other~

IMG_2307 copy 1 **Flowers For Her Hair

I am excited for you to see all of the cute  handsmocked & embroidered clothes for little girls that I have in my 3 shops; Etsy, Rabbit Whiskers, & 1,000 Markets.

Spring dominates my notecard sets, as well. There are an abundance of cards with beautiful photos of spring flowers of all kinds as well as scenes of spring, such as the mustard flower field that I passed on my walk this morning. For anyone who loves spring & spring-related items, my shops are a must see! I hope you will enjoy browsing !

And now I’ve gotten excited to get to work on my latest dress. I’m going to put a spring scene on it~ perhaps the garden that I can’t yet plant outside! This dress is going to be a size 2 and it’s on purple & white gingham! Come peek in my shop in about a week- a week 1/2, and you should  see a brand new addition displayed!

Happy Spring to you!!!

Mustard Meadow

Cards ‘n Dresses ‘n This ‘n That

Sugar & Spice

Today, stormy- heavy winds and lots of rain~ perfect for staying in and working! After working on knitting a baby sweater and making and listing notecards for two months I finally feel ready to return to making dresses! I never intended to be away from sewing for so long, but I always seem to underestimate how much time something’s going to take. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. If I knew before starting how long  a project was going to take,  maybe I’d never start!

I’m not complaining. It wasn’t a bad two months. I have loved knitting for as long as I can remember. I find it very relaxing and enjoyed it even more because I was knitting it for my grandson, who’s birth will be sometime this week!  BabySweater

The notecards are a much newer project for me, as I began creating them just this past year.  I love photography and I love making the cards. It was very easy to spend that much time working on them. The hard part was pulling myself away~  but I love making hand- smocked & embroidered dresses, too, so it’s time to go back to dress-making,  but before I do, I’d love to give you a glimpse of a few of the photos you’ll find on the notecards I’ve completed.

I added a fourth collection of notecard sets that I’m excited to introduce. It’s titled, “This n That”and is simply an assortment of four photographic cards, tied together by theme, color, or in an obscure way. The photo above is from one of the cards in that new set. It is a photo of the artwork from the front of one of my handsmocked & embroidered dresses. It occurred to me that the scenes on my dress fronts would create very unique & fun notecards, and I’m pleased with the results.

Below are five more photos that appear on some of the cards just made. Each set is ooak and consists of a combination of 4 photographic blank cards. This represents just a small fraction of what you’ll find on Rabbit Whisker notecards.

Wh.Primrose copy ** Fall on the Pond Ducks 2

1 little bird ***

I hope you will come and enjoy looking through the different sets. A few of the sets have pictures of Pascal, some of which you may have seen in previous blog posts~

The wind outside is blowing sheets of rain against my windows, it’s steady beating reminding me that I still have lots of work to do, LOTS-  (no underestimating time here.) I’d like to be able to tell you a bit about the new dress,  but at this point, all that I know is that it’s going to be a size1. My next step is to go to the trunk where I store my fabric, and choose whichever appeals the most to me to be working on right now. Once my selection is made I’m hoping for an onslaught of design ideas. Other than knowing the size I’m going to make, the dress will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you~  Hopefully by the next time I write I’ll be able to post a picture of a finished dress- or at least pictures of an, ” almost-finished dress- ” (if I’ve underestimated my time again!)

Beginners Luck

My third  series of notecards, As Scene by Rabbit Whiskers, consists of notecards with photographs of Treehouse copy 4various scenes that I have found to be pretty, interesting, or both; usually things that I see while on a walk with Pascal.

Many of my photos come from my favorite “haunt,” Heather Farms. This is a huge open space park with both natural, wild environments and carefully planted and tended, beautiful gardens; a photographer’s dream place! I could go there daily forever and still see different things each time.

While a majority of the scenes on my cards come from pictures taken at Heather Farms, we also often go downtown for walks and I always encounter something unexpected there, like the koi pond that I posted photos of a few posts ago. I haven’t used them yet, but I may decide to use some of the koi pictures on notecards in the future. There are also scenes taken from my own garden as well as scenes from other places that I walk.

Do you like this cottage in the picture above? It has a rather funny story to go with it. A year and a half ago my daughter gave me this wonderful little camera for my birthday. I was so surprised and excited,  I couldn’t wait to go try it out.  I quickly browsed through the manual, learning just enough to know where the button was to push for a picture, and a few other basics, but otherwise, I really knew nothing about using the camera. I took Pascal, and of course my new camera, downtown for a walk the following morning.

I parked the car a few blocks outside of the central downtown area and thought we’d walk into town from there. I had walked by this old cottage many times before, and each time wished that I had  a camera to take its picture. I love this cottage!  So- here I was, finally!  Me, Pascal, the cottage……. and my new camera! When we got to the driveway of the cottage I made Pascal sit while I pulled out my new camera  and “click, click-” just like that, took a few quick pictures and continued into town, taking  pictures on our way. Once home again, I downloaded the pictures to my computer and was pleased to see that yes, my picture of the cottage looked, well,  just like the cottage-

Several months before I got my camera I came across a photography site online, Zytu.org that had different daily slideshows of pretty and interesting scenes; photos that I enjoyed looking at, so I added them to my homepage.  After downloading  my photos to the computer I decided to post my photos on the web pages Zytu offered. Now that I had a camera I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my favorite photos and also thought it would be fun to see if anyone else looked at them. In the back of my mind I remembered reading something earlier about Zytu adding some photos to its daily slideshows taken from pictures they found on the pages on their site. I didn’t really think about that when I put my pictures on their site. I just barely knew how to use my camera. My photos wouldn’t be picked.

This picture of the cottage was one of the first  that I uploaded to the Zytu site. A few days later I happened to walk by my computer which I had left on my home page. My eyes hit on the zytu slide show just as the photo of the cottage flicked past! I thought I was seeing things. It couldn’t be-  It must have been a photo of another cottage that was similar to the one that I took-  But I waited for the twenty photos to flick by so I could see  this “other” cottage again. There it was! It was no “other,”  it was mine!! I was so excited, I must have watched it flick by a zillion times that afternoon.

Zytu is fun because it keeps track of how many people click on each individual picture. Not only did I never expect to see my photo in their slideshow,  but everytime I think about it, it makes me laugh~  this photo of the cottage made it to their section titled, “Most Viewed Photos”-  It is not only in that section, it is the first photo on the fourth row of the first page of that section, where it has been for the last year and a half! To date, this photo now has 816,889 views!! If someone had told me this was going to happen, I would never in a million years have believed them. Sometimes I wonder what the people who own that cottage would think if they were to be told that 816,889 people from all over the world have seen their home. Do you think they’d believe it?

Anyway, this cottage is also going to have a place on one of my notecards, so if you like it, it might be something to watch for~

*****Water Window This photo was taken at Heather Farms and is one of my favorite photos of Heather Pond. This too will be on a note card,

as will

this

and this, all from Heather Farms. My next post will be a bit about my second series of notecards, Notes From Rabbit Whiskers~

IMG_8696Mustard Flower Field

Say Baaaa!

“B”stands for Bark– and it also stands for “Baaa”~

Say Baaa

To Pascal and I the distinction is pretty clear, but you’d be surprised at how many people are surprised when Pascal “Barks” instead of “Baaas”-  Really!

Over the years, we have been asked so many funny questions~ If I could only get Pascal to say “Baaa” when we’re asked, it would be wonderful! I keep working on it, but so far, Pascal’s clinging to his  “Bark;”  loud and proud!

If only-   Here-  just the other day is a wonderful example of how perfect it would have been  had Pascal responded, “Baaa”-

We were driving home, ( Pascal buckled into his seat belt in the front passenger seat,)  and  stopped at a traffic light. My window was open just a crack; just enough for the nearby sound of laughter to slip in and grab my attention. Looking in the direction of the laughter,  I looked up into the truck that was stopped beside me. The woman next to the window was looking directly into my car at Pascal and I could see just the top of the driver’s head as she craned her neck amidst her laughter, to see over her passenger and into my car as well. I smiled, (their laughter making it impossible not to,) and the first woman motioned me to roll down my window . I did, knowing full well what was coming~

“Is that a lamb in the front seat with you?” she asked. They were still laughing, but I could tell they both were serious about their question.  As has happened so many times in the past, all of these deliciously fun answers began competing in my mind………. pick me! pick me! Just as I was about to tell “the big lie,” Pascal decided that he’d answer the question himself~  “Bark! Bark”   That made them laugh all the harder! “We thought you were driving around with a lamb in your front seat!”  The light turned green and we continued on our way,  their laughter echoing in my ears.09

I tried once again-  “Pascal, say Baaaa”-  He looked at me-  “Pascal,…… Baaa!”  I looked at him, he looked at me,………

“Bark!”

In my last post I mentioned that I intended to add notecards to my shop. I now want to officially announce that they are here!!! To begin with, I have two series of cards, the first is called The Language Of Flowers and contains sets of 4 blank, white notecards and envelopes, measuring 5.25″x 7.25″. Each card is mounted with a different, glossy, 4″ x 6″ photograph taken by me. Each card in a set is a different card, and each set differs from the other set, so be sure when you look,  to look at all four cards in the set. I have many more sets made up, waiting to be listed, so be sure to keep checking to see what I’ve added- This is the kind of picture you should expect to see in the series, The Language of Flowers~Standing Out in a Crowd

The second series is called Notes From Rabbit Whiskers. These notecards are basically the same as the first series, except for the subject of the photographs. To anyone who knows the handsmocked, hand-embroidered girl’s dresses that I make, these might seem a bit familiar~  and very unique!

The next series is one that I  haven’t composed yet, but will very soon, so keep looking! This series will have sets with photos of beautiful scenery!

I Love making these cards and can’t seem to stop. I’m very excited for you to see them, so please come and enjoy! They are listed in both my website, and my Etsy shop!!!